I dizzily opened my eyes. White bed. White sheets. Raspberry curtains. Flat pillows. Bed stand. Oh my Merlin. I'm in the hospital wing. All the events that happened last night flowed back to me.
I put my head in my hands and made a frustrated noise. I remembered that I needed to strangle Sirius Black. And find out who gave Ashleigh the 'sectumsempra' spell. But now that I think about it, Black didn't have anything to do with this. It was only the fact that he existed. Merlin, I'm starting to sound like the Marauders! This was what I was trying to stop when I met Remus. Now I'm actually doing it. I'm a big, fat hypocrite.
I started banging myself in the head when I felt the pain in my arm. I looked down at it. Madam Promfrey seemed to have wrapped it and made an arm sling for me. I groaned. Now I'm going to have to walk around school wearing this.
What about Ashleigh? Where was she? When was she going to get down on her knees and beg for my bloody forgiveness? Now I'm getting too far ahead of myself. Stop, Amber. Just stop thinking these idiotic thoughts.
I still felt sleepy, which was normal because it always happens in the morning. Is it morning? I looked at the clock. 11:19. Okay, so it is. Whoa, 11:19?? Even worse than last time.
I awkwardly adjusted myself into a more comfortable position and went back to sleep.
~ ~ ~
"Mister Lupin, I will not accept that as an excuse. You've been here for thirty minutes already and -"
"Sorry, but -"
"Mister Lupin, you've been here long enough. It's unlikely Miss Merett is going to wake up right now. And...how are you doing?"
I kept my eyes closed. Granny always said it wasn't polite to interrupt anyway. And that included pretending to sleep.
"It keeps getting more brutal. It's..."
What's getting more brutal? What are they talking about?
I heard Madam Promfrey sigh. "If they could only invent a potion for it. If it's possible."
Invent a potion for what? What might not be possible? C'mon, people, my curiousity is trying to kill me! Tell me!!
"Maybe..." Remus' sentence stopped right there. I opened my eyelids.
I found Madam Promfrey and Remus were staring at me. What's wrong? Is there something on me? It dawned on me that they were looking at me before I even opened my eyes.
"Well, I'll leave you two alone now," Madam Promfrey said with a wink towards me, before she trotted into her office. Why does everyone think that way??
I nodded. "I'm fine."
Remus went on. "Are you a lefty or a righty?"
"Lefty," I responded.
"You're going to need help writing then," he said, searching my face.
Wait, is he volunteering? This is Remus Lupin, for Merlin's sake! Why is he doing this? Why is he even here?? We're not even friends! That does it: he's a stalker.
"Actually, I-I can do it by myself. The teachers would never allow it anyway," I added when Remus raised his eyebrows.
"What happened to it?" he indicated my arm.
"Nothing," I muttered.
"We all know something happened."
"It's just an accident," I concluded.
"If it was just an accident, Poppy would've healed it in an instant," Remus said.
Poppy?? What's with that?
"So it has to be some sort of spell," Remus continued. He looked at me intensely.
At that moment, Poppy-I mean Madam Promfrey(darn you, Remus!) came out from her office to check on my arm.
"Left handedor right handed?" she kindly asked.
"Left," I said again.
"You need help with writing, dear. I'll tell the professors, don't you worry." she turned to Remus. "Mister Lupin, would you be so kind to help her?"
They must have set me up. Or they're mind readers.
"Sure," Remus quickly responded.
"Okay, Miss Merett, you are free to go. If anything happens to that arm, feel free to come back, okay? I don't feel safe about that spell. Now, good luck dear!" Pop-I mean, Madam Promfrey helped me off the bed and once again left me alone with Remus.
"I can walk, thank you very much," I said to Remus when he tried to help me out of the hospital wing.
"Are you sure?" Remus anxiously asked.
"Why do you even care?" I turned to him.
"What do you mean?" he stopped and looked at me with those amber- shut up!
"I mean...we aren't friends or anything. So I don't get it," I said.
Remus scratched his head. "I-I guess not."
We awkwardly just stood there, in the middle of the hallway. If I were a random student walking down this hallway, I would have thought we were having a who-can-stare-at-their-shoes-the-longest contest.
"So do you want to be friends?" I asked, trying to be nicer. I realized I've been harsh on him earlier.
"Er...sure," he responded.
"How are friends even made?" I asked and started walking.
"How did the Marauders meet?"
"You know, I don't remember," Remus said, sitting down on the top step of the staircase that came in front of us.
I sat down next him. "You don't know you guys met? The famous Marauders don't know how they became friends?"
He shrugged. "Well, to Prongs, what matters is our friendship. It's a disgrace to him if one of us betrays the rest."
I slowly nodded. As thickheaded as James Potter was(source from Lily), he does have a mind underneath all those layers.
"That's true," I said.
And so it was like the day we sat under the tree, except this time, we had no books and were chatting. So I guess we're friends now. I realized that in every single situation, relationships could be formed, one way or another. It's about holding on to something together. Even though it's just a small strand that's about to snap.
I guess that's how friends are made.
~ ~ ~
I tiptoed across the Ravenclaw common room. Hopefully I wouldn't knock something down and wake the firsties up.
The door of the fifth year girls' dormitories opened. I glanced at the slim figure that came out.The figure burst into tears and ran into me, squeezing me so much that I nearly suffocated.
"I'm s-so sorry! I d-didn't know t-that would happen! I-I swear to Merlin I didn't k-know! Please, please f-forgive me. It was just o-over some s-silly boy...he's n-not exactly silly, but actually very -"
"It's okay, Ash. It's okay. Just make sure you really don't want to kill me," I said, hushing her.
She shook her head that was on my chest, her tears soaking my shirt. "Never. I thought i-it was a hex. B-but..."
"Who gave it to you?" I asked softly.
She cried even harder. "Okay, it's alright. Calm down, Ash."
She wiped her tears. "I found it somewhere on a...b-book."
"A book? Is it from the Restricted Section?" I demanded.
"No. But do you forgive me?"
I clenched my jaw and look into her eyes. Truth. That's all I saw in her hazel eyes. Just truth. Nothing else. Ashleigh was never good at lying.
I hugged her. "Yeah, what did ya think?"
Ashleigh sniffed. "But Sirius Black..."
"I know, I know. You still like him. I guess we can't change that."
"You're right about that, Amber."
"Just don't kill me."
~ ~ ~
"...listen carefully because I'm only going to say it once! Parkinson and Boot, Black and Galo, Evans and Potter-"
Slughorn looked up from his parchment. "Miss Evans, is something wrong?"
"But-but I can't-I can't-" Lily spluttered.
"I'm sorry, but I can't change this, Miss Evans. You can make a special request, but I don't advise that because we're starting a very important project that I moved up to the beginning of the year. You'll be starting it next week and I don't want any delays," Slughorn said kindly and sympathicly.
Lily, frustrated, plopped back down on her seat, while James Potter, who was sitting behind her, nudged the back of her chair and wiggled his eyebrows when she turned back to glare at him.
"Continuing. MacMillian and Turpin, Longbottom and Prewett, Chang and Patil, Merett and Lupin..."
Madam Promfrey had obviously notified the professors.
"...and finally Snape and Carmichael. Your partners are going to be permanent and you must sit with them throughout the school year. Is that understood?"
"Yes," mumbled the classes. Lily spluttered some more, but fell silent with a dazed expression on her face.
"Now move together with your partners! Chop chop!" Slughorn clapped his hands.
I gathered all my books with my right arm with difficulty and sat down next to Remus, who helped me place my books down on the desk.
"Thanks," I murmured to him.
"Now, are we all set? Alright, so you better take notes on what I'm about to say. I want you and your partner to find a potion that takes a month to brew and write a 10 foot long essay on-"
Sounds of protest rang around the room. Slughorn furrowed his eyebrows.
"The essay is going to be on the potion you have chosen. You must have a different potion than the other groups. You will brew it and write on the essay what happens while you are brewing it, the effects it may have on people, the uses, the color, the texture, the taste(I don't recommend tasting it if your potion is poisonous), and finally, the accuracy. Understood? All potions must be in a clean flask and on my desk by October 1st. Essays are to be due September 30th. The potions you will choose must take at least three weeeks to brew. This is good practice for my future N.E.W.T. class, so if you've written all that, you are dismissed!"
I think Slughorn had to use the lavatory because he hurried out of the classroom, his belly jiggling. Plus, he let us out ten minutes early.
"You need help?" Remus said as I shuffled my books in my right arm.
"I'm fine," I said. I adjusted the strap of my bag on my shoulder. Hopefully, I thought.
"Here." Remus took the books and added it onto his own pile.
"You don't need-" I started.
"It's okay," he said, heaving the heavy pile of books in his arms. He started out the dungeon door and I followed him, my bag hitting against my leg.
Any girl would have been pleased to have a Marauder carry their books, but not me. I could do it myself. I have self-confidence. Not a block of cheese. I let it go this time, since my left arm is injured and everything. I just hope it would heal faster so I could do things on my own. But nooo. Mdam Promfrey couldn't do a simple 'episkey' spell to make it all better and all. I had to let it heal the Muggle way. Good gracious.
"So about that project..." I said.
"I'll write the essay," Remus said, throwing a glance at me.
"What?" I flared up. "I can do it my-"
"Oh yeah," I numbly said. "But I can learn how to write with my right arm..." I made an effort to pull the thing off my arm.
"It's not going to come off, you know," Remus smirked, amused at the sight.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Poppy put some sort of charm on it," he said.
"Darn it." I muttered. "But it's 10 feet long! You can't do all that. Your hand's going to fall off or something."
"We can seperate it into parts."
"And the potion?"
"You can help with putting the things in."
He looked at me, eyebrows raised. "How about this. You can tell me what to write and research what potion we can do and the materials we need."
Hey, at least I get to do something. Damn this arm. And the weird charm that Pop- Madam Promfrey put on.
"Fine," I sighed.
We walked to the Defense Against the Dark Arts room briskly. Remus opened the door for me and dropped my books on a desk. He put his books next to mine and sat down. Other students were chatting nonstop around us. I slid down on the chair next to Remus's.
Wait...how did he know this was my next class too? And where is the usual band of Marauders?
"Where are your-"
"Prongs is in Charms, Padfoot in a broom closet, and Wormtail in the kitchens," Remus said. I frowned. How does he know? He was with me the whole time...and where is Elia? And Fedora? And all the other people?
Remus studied my bewildered face. "Are you okay?"
"Fine, fine." I tightened my ponytail. Maybe they were hiding. Fedora at least has DADA with me. Elia was in Potions just earlier...
"If you were wondering where your friend is, she's in the same broom closet as Padfoot."
That explains a lot.
"Why do you guys called each other those nicknames?" I asked, my curiousity getting the better of me.
"Um...well...it's because...Prongs likes prongs," Remus scratched his head.
"James Potter likes...prongs."
"I mean-like-like forks!"
I furrowed my eyebrows. "The ends of forks?"
"Yeah...yeah," Remus nodded quickly.
"And Padfoot?" I asked.
"He has sensitive feet. And...um...so...he puts pads on his foot," Remus slowly said.
I raised my eyebrows. "He does?"
"Yeah...you should see him...yeah..."
He opened his mouth and then closed it again. "Oh-oh yeah. Er...he...er...um...he...um...he likes worms...with tails."
Worms. With. Tails. If the Marauders are this stupid, kill me now.
"I-I mean...I..." Remus(for some reason) started wringing his hands and nervously glancing at me.
"What do they call you again? Oh right, Moony!"
"It's because...because...I like..."
I waited for his answer.
"Moons," he whispered.
Someone should really dig into the lives of the Marauders because it seems like they keep a lot of humiliating secrets.
"You like moons?" I asked.
"Yeah, you...you got that right."
And so I spent the rest of DADA mentally criticizing the new professor's(Professor Dongding; I serious, it's his real last name) hairstyle and thinking whether or not the Marauders are insane.
"Want to find a potion in library now? It's free time and there's not much homework today," Remus said after class, carrying my books again.
"Sure," I responded, cursing my arm for the thousandth time today.
~ ~ ~
"Calming Draught? Nah."
I tossed the book aside, earning a piercing glare from Madam Pince. When her back was turned, I stuck my tongue out at her.
Remus chuckled, and turned a page from a musty book he found.
I buried my face into my arms and let out a muffled groan. Why is this so hard? It's just a sodding potion we have to brew and write about. Remus doesn't seem to have a hard time. He just chuckling along.....hey, maybe I could find some spell in a book that would charm this cast off my arm. Yeah, I could do that...
"Be right back," I told Remus and I sped off into a forest of shelves, hoping to find the perfect book that would save my life. Or at least save my arm from any more suffering.
~ ~ ~
I had to admit it: Fedora was a good snogger. I didn't know if I was dreaming about that broom closet on the fourth floor or not. I mean, she's just...okay, my main point is that she is a brilliant snogger.
Gotta go tell Moony, I thought. I wonder how he's doing with Miss Ravenclaw.
I dashed to the library, not before giving a smart wink to a gaggle of Hufflepuff girls in the hallway.
"Moony, Moony, Moony, Moony," I muttered under my breath as I glanced around, trying to find Remus. Okay, Sirius, try to find some guy with sandy brown hair whose nose is stuck in a book or is trying to flirt with a Ravenclaw prefect. I skimmed the tables.
Nope...nope...definetely not...wait who...? Ahh, there he is. Reading across the table with the Ravenclaw. I started to jog toward him when a thought hit me.
I should spy on him for a while.
Good idea, Sirius.
I watched the Ravenclaw groan and suddenly perk her head up. She told something to Remus and lost herself in shelves of books. I observed Remus as he watched her go away. He then rubbed his eyes and leaned his head back on his chair. I took the chance to talk to him.
"Why don't you just ask her to Hogsmeade this weekend?" I asked.
Remus's eyes flew open. "Padfoot? What-"
"If you fancy her so much, why don't you-"
"How do you know?"
I shrugged. "It's pretty obvious."
His eyes widened. "Really?"
"Just get it over with and ask her out."
Remus rolled his eyes and said, "Well, I've seen Prongs asked Lily out many times, but does she accept? Noo."
"That's different. She hates him," I argued.
"But you are a Marauder," I continued. "She can't turn you down. You'd beat all competiton. And what's her name anyway?"
"Nice name...I met her sister once...I don't remember her name..." I racked my brains.
"Ashleigh?" Remus said.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Amber told me."
"And stay with, um, the girl that you're with a bit longer than usual, 'kay?"
I rose an eyebrow. "What? You afraid I'd start dating your prefect?"
I sighed. "Look, just ask her alright?"
"But remember? Her fear-"
"Who cares? I mean, not that way, I meant...never mind."
"I think she thinks we're lunatics," Remus muttered.
"We? As in Marauders? How?"
"Well, she asked me about our nicknames we call each other and...I sort of panicked."
"What did you say?" I frantically asked.
"Prongs likes forks, you have sensitive feet, Wormy likes worms with tails and I like...moons."
"Hey, let's see if you can do better," Remus defended himself.
"You know what? I need to do my daily afternoon snogging now. I see you at Hogsmeade this weekend." I snuck the Map out of Remus's bag. I located where Fedora was(girl's dormitories) and dashed off to find her.
~ ~ ~
So far, none of the spells worked, so I gave up and resumed looking for a potion again. When I got back to the table, I immediately took the top book off of my pile and started researching. I became aware that Remus wasn't turning any pages after a while. I looked above my book.
Remus was just staring at the pages of his book, his eyes not reading anything. I waved a hand in front of his face.
"Remus?" His head jerked up when I whispered his name.
"Oh. Never mind."
I went back to reading. "Er...Amber?"
"Hmm?" I asked, not taking my eyes off of my book.
"Would you-I mean-could-er...can..."
"Uh-huh?" I peeled my eyes off of the book and looked at Remus.
"Can you come...come to..."
What is he asking?
I went back to my book, disappointed. What was he about to ask? I bit my lip and and turned a page. Maybe he'll tell me later.
While I was absentmindedly reading, I wondered about Hogsmeade that was coming up the day after tommorrow. I'll probably go...if there isn't so much homework. But that would mean I'd have to finish it all tommorrow. Oh, maybe. We'll see.
A/N: I know it took such a long time to submit this chapter, but time wasn't on my side this week. Not so long, but I'll do better in the next chapter. Please put what you have to say in the nice box below and leave a review! Thanks you guys! =]
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